The University of Iowa

Making a world of difference: Engle to receive UI award for international impact

October 18th, 2012

By: Sara Epstein Moninger for Iowa Now

Hualing Nieh Engle
When Hualing Nieh Engle first suggested bringing together a group of established writers from around the globe to nurture their artistic creativity on the University of Iowa campus, Paul Engle told her it was a crazy idea.

“But Paul thought it was an interesting one, and he always wanted to try new things,” says Engle of the exchange she had with the man who had led the Iowa Writers’ Workshop to worldwide distinction and whom she later married. “Iowa City is such a wonderful place for writers, so I said, ‘Why not expand the workshop to focus on international writers?’ It was a natural thought.”

Engle had been a published author living in Taiwan when she met Paul in 1963. He was traveling through Asia scouting literary talent and invited her to attend the Writers’ Workshop. Despite political turbulence in Taiwan, she was granted the necessary paperwork to come to the UI the following year, first as a writer-in-residence at the workshop and then as a student. After earning a Master of Fine Arts in 1966, she saw an opportunity to reach out to similar writers who could benefit from Iowa City’s literary environment, and convinced Paul to make it happen.

And so began, in 1967, the UI International Writing Program (IWP)... (Read the full story on Iowa Now)

The International Impact Award will be presented to Engle at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum. Following the award presentation, Engle will talk about her life and love of writing with WorldCanvass TV and radio series host Joan Kjaer. For more information, click here.